How To Design Your Dream Future, With 7 Micro Steps


This January, it’s time to take it easy and hone in on healthy habits that you can live with for an entire trip around the sun—and beyond. We’ve enlisted the help of industry experts to put together three four-week plans designed to help you move your body, eat more sustainably, or show yourself some loving care. Pick a plan—or three—and hit refresh. Get the Program

I am a big believer in creating what you want to see in the world—through conversation, intentional planning, and by exuding the positive energy that you’d like to be returned to you. I don’t spend as much time reflecting as I would like (it’s something I’m consciously prioritizing and mindfully making more time to do), but as I work on leveling up the skill, I’ve realized how core doing so is for being able to effectively set up the life I want to live.

To round out the month of using self-care practices to facilitate the creation of foundational happiness and positive growth, this week is about learning how to design your dream future, both by dreaming and doing.

Day 22: Try journaling

It’s important to capture affirmations and reflections, since they’ll steer you toward the future that’s meant for you. Buy a new journal—whether it’s a gratitude journal, a dream journal, or a general notebook—and practice capturing your thoughts in small ways. You can start with prompts to get into a creative flow. For instance, try responding to the prompts “What do I know for sure?” or “When do I feel most authentically me?”

Journaling is a favorite resetting hack of mine, because it’s nice to flip back to previous entries and see how much you’ve grown since you began the practice.

In addition to providing the self-awareness power of orienting you to how you authentically feel, journaling is a favorite resetting hack of mine, because down the road, it’s nice to be able to flip back to previous entries and see how much you’ve grown and changed since you began the practice.

Day 23: Consider what a dream trip would look like

Do you know where in the world you would most love to visit for a transformative, worldview-shifting trip? Dream up this locale you want to explore by reading, watching content, and connecting with others about their travels. Consider what you might see on this trip, who you might meet, delicacies you might try, and experiences you might have.

I follow several travel accounts on social media to drum up inspiration for myself. As you dream about future travel, don’t worry about the logistics of getting time off or paying for this trip or actually planning it—all of the details are for down the road. Today, the purpose is to dream about your future trips.

Day 24: Plan a solo or group gathering

Have dreams of going on a trip with friends, or even attending an event together that will beget meaningful shared memories? Make an Airbnb Wishlist—which is basically a mood board where you can pin dreamy properties where you would like to stay—and share it with your friends. You could also use online scheduling and surveying tools such as Doodle and Survey Monkey to gauge where your friends might like to go.

If a trip isn’t in the cards, you can still scratch that travel itch by finding a special event happening in your city that everyone is excited about, like a concert or a play, and go. Or, you could host a group dinner themed to a specific destination—for example, if a trip to Jamaica isn’t in the cards, perhaps you could make jerk chicken together and watch How Stella Got Her Groove Back.

Day 25: Start a new practice

Make space in your schedule for a new practice or skill that you’re excited to learn. Maybe you’ve always wanted to speak French, or you’ve been meaning to find time to take a pottery class. Whatever it is, leave notes around the house affirming the new practice or habit and look into local or digital classes. Cultivating comfort around learning a new skill at any age is important and something that many people lose as they get older.

Day 26: Draft a list of books you want to read

Think about reading as an exploratory practice. How can you add novelty into your reading routine? If you are already an avid reader, branch out into new-to-you genres and see what excites you. To do so, find and source books on topics that interest you but you have never picked up before. I typically read fiction, for example, but I recently picked up A Work in Progress: A Journal by René Redzepi and it has been such an insightful read about the creative workings and the highs and lows that come alongside entrepreneurial success.

If you aren’t a regular reader and aren’t sure where to start with your book list, ask friends for their favorite books or join a book club. Check out descriptions and see what might resonate with you (choosing a favorite of someone else allows you the bonus of being able to connect with them about it). However you interact with reading, the act allows us to learn more about ourselves by way of learning about different arenas of the world in general.

Day 27: Create a personal purpose statement for 2022

Have you been musing about creating something you want to see in the world? Put your ideas on paper and start breathing life into them! You can start as small as drafting a purpose statement, creating an Instagram account, or making a mood board. I started Ethel’s Club in 2019 with one Instagram post that spoke to the need and power of safe spaces centered around joy and community. That post evolved into conversations, then into press, then into a physical space, and now into a brand known around the world. Put your ideas out there—you never know what they could add to your life and the world if you keep them to yourself.

Day 28: Throw a dream-supporting party

You’ve reached the end of the first month of the year, so bring all of your New Year energy and pour it into a shared experience with friends and loved ones. Have a small gathering—IRL or virtual—designed around intentionally supporting one another’s dreams. A lot of magic happens when you speak things into existence, and starting with a strong support system of people who believe in you will give you the energy you need to keep going.

After you’ve sent out invitations, ask all attendees to create a three-minute presentation outlining their goals and desired milestones for the year ahead. At the party, everyone can share and talk about ideas for supporting and uplifting one another. After the party, create a group chat where everyone can share successes and challenges to keep the supportive relationships continuing throughout the year.

Looking to hit refresh on your healthy habits this January? Check out our full 2022 ReNew Year program for expert-led plans for sustainable eating, exercise, and self-care routines. 

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